Forest minister to probe misappropriation of fund
Imphal, January 6 (DIPR): Forest and environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar today said, total funds amounting to Rs 50,20,73,010 released by Loktak Development Authority (LDA) to forest department during the 2009-2012 under Short Term Action Plan (STAP) for implementation of Catchment Area Treatment and implementation of Biodiversity will be investigated. He said he has already discussed the matter with the chief minister.
Speaking to media persons at his office at new secretariat, Shyamkumar said LDA released the funds for different components of STAP for conservation and management of Loktak wetland integrating Manipur river basin which included afforestation, aided regeneration and agro forestry. The funds were released in three instalments under the STAP for implementation of Catchment Area Treatment and implementation of Biodiversity.
Rs. 44,79,79,010 were released in the first instalment under STAP for implementation of Catchment Area Treatment from 2009-2012, Rs. 4,31,25,000 under 12th Finance Commission Catchment Area Treatment in second instalment from 2009-2010 and Rs. 1,09,70,000 under STAP for implementation of Biodiversity in third instalment from 2009-10. The grand total amounting to Rs. 50,20,73,010.
The selected areas for afforestation, aided regeneration and agro forestry included Thoubal division, Bishnupur division, northern forest division, central division, eastern forest division, Tengnoupal Forest division, Ukhrul division and southern division.
The minister said the villagers have informed that no trees were planted since 2013 in Saichang centre under Thoubal division which was covered under the afforestation plan. He termed it unfortunate that no trees were planted even after releasing the funds.
He said all the centres will be checked along with the then Forest officers in presence of media persons. He stated forest department is committed for the welfare of the people and the state.